Signs of..

Struggling with mental health is common. The earlier you get treatment the easier it will be to get better. See below for signs and descriptions of eating disorders.



Eating disorders are prevalent in the US and often go undetected. Many times, people assume that someone has to be extremely skinny to have an eating disorder, but this is not true. People who develop eating disorders can be any shape, size, gender, and ethnicity (Marques, Alegria, Becker, Chen, Fang, Chosak & Diniz, 2011). As you read through this information, keep in mind that it can be difficult to identify eating disorder symptoms, and it is always best to consult a mental health professional if there is any uncertainty. Feel free to call with any questions, there is no fee for a consultation via telephone.  


The information below includes information from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM–5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

Signs of Anorexia

  • Not eating enough food required, leading to a significantly low body weight for one's age, sex, developmental phase, and physical health

  • Intense fear of gaining weight or of "getting fat" or exhibiting behaviors that interfere with weight gain despite having a significantly low weight

  • Irrational perceptions of one's body weight or shape

  • Body weight strongly influences one's self-evaluations

  • Not being able to recognize the seriousness of (current) low body weight. 

Signs of Bulimia

  • Eating an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in the same amount of time

  • A feeling that you cannot stop eating or control how much you are eating

  • Inappropriate efforts to prevent gaining weight, including vomiting, using laxatives, diuretics, fasting, or excessive exercise

  • Self-evaluation is strongly influenced by body shape and weight

Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

​​*In binge eating disorder, the person does not vomit, use laxatives, or purge the calories consumed in another way. 

  • Within a distinct amount of time, a person: 

    • Eats an amount of food that is larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances

    • Feels he/she cannot stop eating or control how much he/she is eating

  • During the distinct amount of time described above, a person does at least 3 of the following: 

    • Eats rapidly

    • Eats until uncomfortably full

    • Eats large amounts of food when not hungry

    • Eats alone due to feeling ashamed about amount of food he/she is eating

    • Feels disgusted with themself, depressed, or very guilty afterward

  • The binge eating (described above) occurs at least once a week


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. 


Marques, L., Alegria, M., Becker, A. E., Chen, C.-n., Fang, A., Chosak, A., & Diniz, J. B. (2011). Comparative prevalence, correlates of impairment, and service utilization for eating disorders across US ethnic groups: implications for reducing ethnic disparities in health care access for eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 44(5), 412-4120.